Kukla's Korner

The Toronto Maple Leafs On Being In Ottawa Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

“Obviously it was a tragic day and being that close to it made it seem even that much more real,” Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said following his team’s practice Thursday at the MasterCard Centre. “It’s certainly not something you expect or even are aware of as a Canadian that there is a possibility something like that could happen here.

“People like that at Parliament Hill and the prime minister being there and seeing it all unfold was surreal - especially seeing it all unfold from your room like that.”

The Leafs team hotel was essentially across the road from the National War Memorial where soldier Nathan Cirillo was shot to death late Thursday morning. Players on higher floors saw the drama unfold and were captivated by the tragic events.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jordan Nolan Up Against Father Ted Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

If there's one thing Jordan Nolan learned through the years, it's that he can't slack off when his dad is around. Working hard means the world to Ted Nolan. The Sabres' coach believes an honest effort can lead to great things.

Jordan Nolan is living proof.

The 25-year-old forward has two champion rings with the Los Angeles Kings. Though not the most talented player on the Stanley Cup-winning roster, Nolan gets by with size and a determined work ethic -- two things he got from his dad.

"He’s pretty honest," Jordan Nolan said today. "He’s pretty black and white, but he’s also always pushing me to get better and always there to support me if I have something to talk about. If I’m not working hard, that’s his main thing. He’ll let me know."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jordan+nolan, ted+nolan

Kypreos vs. Healy On Ovechkin And A Few More Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Sportsnet has a debate segment on its NHL coverage called “To The Point” in which Nick Kypreos and Glenn Healy argue different perspectives on hockey’s most pressing issues. Or if they run out of them, “Is Alex Ovechkin coachable?”

That was the topic on Wednesday night* during the Washington Capitals’ game at the Edmonton Oilers, one of the few games this season in which Ovechkin went scoreless.

Kypreos took the “I believe in Ovie” side, although he said Ovechkin is “not the sharpest knife in the drawer” and said it’s “his last chance to prove he’s not a coach killer.” Which sounds really ominous, until you consider that it doesn’t really mean anything except that he’ll get another coach or two or 10 before his contract runs out.

Healy attempted to make that point, although it was like giving a filet mignon to a hot dog vendor to cook. Here’s Healy on Ovechkin’s coachability:

continued and/or watch the segment below which also includes more topics...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Watching Mike Babcock

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

NHL coaches being hired are rarely in a position of power. They’re available because they’ve been fired and are looking for work. Or they’re available because they’re coaching outside the NHL. So when it comes time to attach a dollar amount to the job, it’s typically lopsided in favor of the person offering the job.

Mike Babcock is the exception.

His Detroit Red Wings have just one regulation loss in six games, and he’s again maximizing the talent he has on the roster. They return home tonight after a swing through Canada where fans in Toronto openly pined for Babcock. He was the focus of the media. His situation is being watched intensely by fans in Toronto, by fans in Detroit and even by fans in Pittsburgh who still wonder if he’ll be reunited with Team Canada star Sidney Crosby if things go sideways this season with the Penguins under new coach Mike Johnston.

About the only people watching the situation closer than fans that want him behind the bench of their teams are those already behind the bench of NHL teams. Babcock’s fellow coaches know this is a big negotiation as the Red Wings coach plays out the final year of his contract. His next deal could be a game-changer, and they’re following it every step of the way. 

more (ESPN Insider subscription needed)

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Thinking Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- Boston and Buffalo did talk quite seriously about Chris Stewart, but it doesn’t appear at this time to be a match. According to other teams, the Sabres want two young players (or a young player and a draft pick) for the winger and couldn’t reach an agreement with the Bruins. Buffalo won’t make the move early unless it gets what it wants.

- Those same teams believe Buffalo’s asking price for Tyler Myers is so high because of a worry he’ll go to a better team and make them look silly for trading him.

- Not yet public is tracking indicating how much a player skates at a pace above 20 kilometres per hour. I saw a little bit of that information. Only three men stayed at that speed more than 40 percent of the time with at least 10 minutes of five-on-five play. They were Hagelin (44.2 per cent of 13:36), Sidney Crosby (42.4 of 19:19) and Joe Colborne (41.7 of 12:29).

- The big surprise? Ovechkin was at 20 km/h just 25.4 per cent of the time. And, maybe it shouldn’t be so unexpected, but most defencemen stay in the teens.

more plus the value of good, young defensemen...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings’ Morning Skate

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Same lines: Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Datysuk, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Nestrasil-Helm-Jurco, Miller-Glendening-Andersson. Weiss. Cleary extras.

Same D pairs as last game: Kronwall-Ericsson, Quincey-DeKeyser, Smith-Kindl (Lashoff rotating in). Babcock said yesterday Howard starting.

Jurco working on first power play with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm, Kronwall. Nyquist on 2nd PP with Sheahan, Tatar, Nestrasil, DeKeyser.

Khan also noted Franzen only player not skating and Howard starts tonight.

added 1:05pm, from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

It's been an offensive struggle so far for some of the Red Wings' young forwards.

Expected to take another step in their development this season, players such as Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar are struggling to get on the scoresheet. Through six games, combined, the three have three points. Tatar has a goal. And Sheahan and Jurco have one assist each.

For the Red Wings to be successful over the long haul, the trio must do more.

"It's hard to pinpoint," Sheahan said of the lack of offense. "If you look at the last game in Montreal, we played pretty well. We had a bunch of shots and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone.

"You can't pinpoint what's gone wrong. It's just a matter now of getting to the net. We have good chemistry. It's early in the season and there's no reason to get worried about point production."

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PERRY, ANDERSEN KEEP DUCKS ROLLING
Corey Perry recorded his second hat trick of the season (and the seventh of his career) and Frederik Andersen made 22 saves to lead the Ducks to their sixth consecutive victory.
 
* At 6-1-0, the Ducks have matched their best seven-game start in franchise history in terms of both wins (6; 2013-14) and points (12; 2006-07 and 2013-14).
 
* Playing in his seventh game of the season, Perry became the fastest player in Ducks history to reach eight goals. He also moved into a tie for the League lead in both goals and points (10).
 
* Perry posted his first hat trick of 2014-15 in Anaheim’s first game of the season (Oct. 9 at PIT). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the sixth player in the past 29 years to register multiple hat tricks over his team’s first seven games of a season. The others: Boston’s Charlie Simmer (1985-86), Edmonton’s Glenn Anderson (1987-88), Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux (1988-89), Montreal’s Brian Savage (1999-00) and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk (2003-04).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Eric Duhatschek On Jonathan Drouin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Most of the Calder Trophy forecasts for this year landed on one of Drouin, the Los Angeles Kings’ Tanner Pearson, the Washington Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov or Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau. MacKinnon didn’t get off to the fastest start last year either, but started to roll after about 10 games. You can imagine the same thing happening with Drouin once he settles into a routine. The kid looks good already. In time, he may look great.

-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Read more on Drouin from Duhatschek.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

A Look At Justin Williams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Gustafson of The Guardian,

Justin Williams, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy holder and three-time Stanley Cup champion, possesses a sort of serene confidence. Dressed in gray shorts, matching shirt and flip flops the day after the Los Angeles Kings first win of the new season, he seems totally at ease in what is now his fifth year in Southern California. He is by turns funny, self-deprecating, humble and thoughtful. It’s only when he finishes answering a question and fixes his hazel eyes on you in a look of almost baleful intensity that you catch a glimpse of what makes Williams one of the best right wings in the game.

“One of the special things in hockey is the handshake line at the end of a playoff series. I’ve been a part of a lot of wins in those lines but I’ve also been a part of some losses as well. When you look that guy in the eye and you shake his hand and you know they got the better of you it’s very frustrating for me. I never like knowing someone got the better of me.

“You know we won in 2012. We lost in 2013 you kind of felt cheated or slighted that you see someone else raise the Stanley Cup. I guess it’s kind of like seeing someone else with your wife. You get jealous. You know, why is he holding the Stanley Cup? That should be mine.”

continued, good read....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: justin+williams

Detroit/Pittsburgh Notes

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock saw one similarity in all the goals scored in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

"The goalies were bumped on all four," Babcock said. "One (by Pavel Datsyuk) was called back. Abby (Justin Abdelkader) drove on the first one and P.K. (Subban) bumped his goalie. (David) Desharnais went to the net and bumped Kronner (Niklas Kronwall) into our goalie. (Alex) Galchenyuk bumped (Kyle) Quincey into our goalie (on the tying goal).

"There might be something to it."

If you can get away with bumping a defenseman into his own goalie, great. But Babcock's message was that his team needs to be more physical at the net to score more, at even strength and on the power play.

The Red Wings (3-1-2), who host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7:30, Fox Sports Detroit), ranked 26th in the NHL in goals per game (2.00) heading into Wednesday's games (Penguins lost 5-3 at home to the Flyers). One big reason is a power play that's converted just 8.3 percent of its chances (2-for-24).

continued

Tonight's game notes are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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